Vanessa Chiu is the ultimate #girlboss, here she tells WGSN why she founded AXIS, the womenswear tradeshow in New York.
After spending three days at this trade show, scouring the place and snapping Instagrams of cool new brands, WGSN caught up with the founder Vanessa to ask her about launching New York’s latest addition to the womenswear circuit and what makes this show different from anything else.
Q: Let us get to know Vanessa! How did you find yourself in this position, as a curator of cool?
Two inquiries that are ingrained in me…How and Why. I’m innately curious and fascinated by our ability to choose and story tell. I love understanding the experiences that shape our behaviours, which extends to buying behaviours, looking for trends, food choices, colour choices…pairing things up and understanding lifestyles all go hand in hand.
In a previous life, I was handling the PR/Marketing for an Aussie lifestyle brand known as Insight. We participated in over a dozen shows annually, part of the show strategy was maximizing our platform, retail and press marketing and wholesale through brand alignment…as well as how it would appear organically in the retail landscape. In end, it furthered my love for “seeing” a good story.
Q: How would you describe the major differences between AXIS and Capsule in terms of product, vibe and price point?
Axis, who just turned 1 is a multi-dimensional approach catered for the millennial mindset. An intimate curation of 200+ collections founded upon a sense of cross-category collaboration and community alignment. We are where Fashion + Lifestyle, Athleisure + Swim, Home + Beauty, Accessories + Intimates meet. We uphold an ongoing sense of community at Axis where you can expect to nurture current relationships and find new connections, inspirations, and discoveries for many more seasons to come. We also curate the lifestyle we live by offering healthy food options to everyone on our Axis platform. Pending the category our price points are tangible and price conscious.
Q: For such a new show, the vendor turn out was quite impressive. Can you tell us how the show gained so much momentum so quickly?
Thank you. Our gals that curate Axis, are both seasoned sales reps. They have built brands, working actively with the retailers as well as being the end consumer for the brands we invite to show with us. We work closely with our retailers to understand what they’d like to see more of and what areas of growth they’re experiencing. We continue to curate the brands and discover collections that fall within our parameters and meet our show standards. We collectively vote-in brands as well. It’s a community process as we curate an intimate shopping lifestyle experience.
Q: Can you let us in on some of your very favourite brands that showed at AXIS? Any particular brands or trends that are feeling extra buzzy at the moment?
That’s hard to say, it’s like picking your favourite family member. We have a vast array of brands hailing from around the globe with great brand stories, thoughtfully created and crafted.
SIR The Label, Vanessa Mooney, Olympia Theodora, Indah, Toru & Naoko, KissKill, Melt Sleepwear, Pointe Studios, Slate Swim, This Is First Base, Port De Bras, Vinaya Altrius, Group Partner, Deerdana, Death in Paris, Rains, Dr. Martens, NANIN, Blackbird, The Great Lake Goods, and Little Barn Apothecary.
We also love supporting innovative women’s brands and businesses – from those in the aforementioned group to online sites like ShopHelpsy.
The active lifestyle trend is a real lifestyle, and it is here to stay. As we begin to invest more in lifestyle, home, food and health — Athleisure continues to stay on top and translate into true lifestyle fashion. As we become more fit and positive in our body image, we see the natural rise of intimates continue. As the millennials are also seen as the DIY generation, home and beauty continues to be a fan favourite.
Q: What should we expect for next season?
New brands…being it’s a Spring/Summer show, you’ll most definitely see an abundance of swim/resort which are part of our athleisure genre, more variety in our curated channels and more activations. You can still expect to see beautiful and functional lounge areas and of course delicious and healthy food options.
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